Any Ideas? A Punch Fragment

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Any Ideas? A Punch Fragment

Postby judithstinton » 29 Dec 2012, 13:41

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I found this board in a shop in West Dorset. It's made from a piece of old door, while the Punch and Judy figures are carved in plaster. Dimensions are 23" long by 11" wide, and the proscenium area is 9" by 8".
I assume it was used for advertising the show. The board has obviously been well used and seems to date from around 1900.

Does anyone know more about it or would be interested in buying it?
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Re: Any Ideas? A Punch Fragment

Postby Richard Coombs » 29 Dec 2012, 14:57

Hello Judith it is very pretty..a nice find.
I admit I dont know much about antiques etc ... but the font of "Punch and Judy" doesnt look very 'old' in style to me .
This might be a more recent piece , affecting an older style ?

But I am sure someone with more knowledge will tell you a bit about it.

I personally like it because Punch and Judy are "my" way round ..which is unusual as Punch is nearly always worked on the showmans right hand.

Several Posters and record covers and illustrations done by 'non-punch' folk will draw Punch and Judy this way round - as with your panel.
P and J in this configuration makes me tend to believe this was not something made for anyone actually doing a show ( as left handed Punch performers are a real rarity )
Might it have advertised Punch and Judy toothpaste or the like ?

Best wishes Richard
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Re: Any Ideas? A Punch Fragment

Postby Chris » 29 Dec 2012, 23:12

I agree with Richard. Modern. The figures are typical of commercial artist depiction of P&J as you often see on pub signs - slightly Disney and ignorant of the tradition with Punch stage right. Also that is a modern typeface as you say Richard. And I can't see any practical use for it, especilly if it is partly plaster.
Actually if it is plaster that has been cast, then carved to imitate wood carving then is does suggest that it is intended as a decoration.
There is a chain of shops (Us origin I think) which sell all sorts of kitch - furniture, panels, carvings of birds and animals, repros of 50s USA Road signs and street furniture mixed in with chunky cod-rural etc etc. Much of it appears to be carved wood but all is in fact plaster, or sometimes resin. I wonder if this came from such a source?
But of course there are many people who collect almost anything with a Punch reference, and something need not be old to be pleasing. If nobody shows interest on this Board then try it on Ebay - there seems to be a good market in PJ memorabilia.
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Re: Any Ideas? A Punch Fragment

Postby Nick Jackson » 30 Dec 2012, 23:11

These were mass-produced around 15 years ago – I have one hanging on my bedroom wall.
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Re: Any Ideas? A Punch Fragment

Postby Benjie » 01 Jan 2013, 15:27

I've got one too, made it in to a nice next show sign
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Re: Any Ideas? A Punch Fragment

Postby Chris » 01 Jan 2013, 20:55

Looks good Benjie, but I bet you'll have some fun with the Roman numerals.
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Re: Any Ideas? A Punch Fragment

Postby Trevek » 09 Jan 2013, 10:49

I wonder how many kids (and, indeed, adults) can't tell the time on a clock with hands these days.

I had a friend, in the 1980's, who claimed he couldn't because he'd only ever had digital clocks in the house and digital watches.

The worrying thing was... he was in the army at that time.
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Re: Any Ideas? A Punch Fragment

Postby Chris » 09 Jan 2013, 11:56

Just the opposite in Britain I imagine. Although cheap digital watches show just the numerals many better ones tend to have analogue faces. Just look at popular watches on Amazon. Also kids are still taught in school to tell the time with a clock showing hands, and still are taught "a quarter to ..." and "Half past ..." which would be inappropriate if the clock face were not being taught. Another indication is to be found in toyshops where clock faces with hands still feature as learning toys. But not with Roman numerals of course.
Also surely most digital clocks in houses have an analogue face, apart from those that are dual function like an alarm clock radio.

I remember when digital watches first came in (anyone old enough to remember the Sinclair Black Watch?) they all had digital readouts - but they didn't prove all that popular and within a couple of years there were more expensive ones with an analogue face on sale. Actually technically this is a retrograde step since the great value of digital is the lack of moving parts which wear out. Obviously the pictorial nature of the dial still has advantages.

From a Punch point of view a Clock Face is much more decorative than numerals, and also can be seen and read at a greater distance.
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